Know Arroyo’s weapons of mass deception
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2007-04-22
"After digging to a depth of 100 meters, Japanese scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 1000 years. Japan’s Prime Minister Abe announced their conclusion that: ‘Our ancestors already had a telephone network 1000 years ago.’

"In the weeks that followed, American scientists dug 200 meters and President Bush announced: ‘US scientists have found traces of 2000-year old optical fibers and we’ve concluded that our ancestors already had advanced high-tech digital telephone 1000 years earlier than the Japanese.’

"One week later, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) announced: ‘After digging as deep as 500 meters, Filipino scientists have found absolutely nothing. We have concluded that 5000 years ago, our ancestors were already using wireless technology.’

That’s vintage GMA!"

We may find this internet joke funny, but really, the joke has always been on us Filipinos who have been lied to and deceived for too long. People who are detached from the truth are the same ones who eventually end up being manipulated and exploited.

At the very core of the Philippine wealth gap lie three others:

1. The information gap

2. The education gap, and the

3. Opportunity gap

Those who succeed in overcoming the information and education gaps but fall prey to the opportunity gap will likely be compelled to seek employment overseas. Thus, we have millions of OFWs (overseas Filipino workers). Those who cannot even overcome the information and education gaps comprise the 53% who rate themselves as poor. They do not qualify for OFW jobs much less qualify for work in call centers.

To bridge the information gap, one must reckon with the exploiter’s well-oiled machinery and natural bent to manipulate information. The Philippine information gap is the result of the manipulation of information content fed to a vulnerable media.

As news and information consumers, it is very important for us to play our role in demanding for reliable, relevant and quality information. Childish and playful remarks should segue to more serious discussions of the problems and issues that contribute to the poor state of the nation.

The Arroyo regime has mastered the recycling and rehashing of lies, half truths and even fiction in order to obfuscate and muddle the issues. The Arroyo regime survives mainly because the Opposition fails to galvanize the issues and inspire action.

However, we cannot leave the situation at that and not get involved in seeking solutions to our political crisis. Regardless if the Opposition is with us or not, we have to make the Arroyo regime account for its behavior.

Enlightenment begins with awareness. Our people must first know how the regime is hoodwinking them by zeroing in on its most common deception tactics.

The regime avoids the real issue by shifting focus elsewhere, even to the extent of peddling fiction. When confronted with the question of legitimacy to rule, expect the usual canned response alleging to "the Opposition’s burning desire to oust Arroyo." Or they will say "That is old hat" to the unresolved festering crisis. Avoiding the dreaded scenario of a People of the Philippines versus Arroyo showdown, the regime redirects people to focus on something non-existent: that this election is a choice between Arroyo and Estrada.

Another regime deception method is by resorting to argumentum ad hominem — attacking the person instead of confronting the issue. Expose corruption and you’ll be accused of destabilization. Suggest removing an illegitimate president and you’ll be charged with sedition. Write the inconvenient truth and you’ll be slapped with libel. Everything is wrong with you but not with them.

Another of the regime’s favorite weapons of mass deception is to vilify those who try to shatter the myths and illusions that they want to propagate. Thus, journalists of integrity who expose their corrupt deeds and ways are branded as promoters of hate. Promote patriotism and you’re charged with sedition.

A patriot is anathema to a tyrant. The tyrant knows that a patriot will risk life and fortune to set things right in the country.

The regime has one method of mass deception that is hardly noticeable — the use of non-verbal subliminal messages. They weave cleverly crafted images of a prosperous, well-fed and peaceful country in all of the Arroyo regime’s official photos and videos.

Madame Arroyo and her mouthpieces are very quick to magnify GDP growth figures so that they can sell the illusion and the myth of an economic boom. However, they conveniently conceal relevant and enlightening facts, such as:

1. Where would the economy be sans the OFW remittances? Arroyo cannot claim credit for the remittances of OFWs who were forced to leave their families because she could not provide jobs for them here.

2. Where would the Philippine peso be were it is if not for the weak dollar and again — OFW earnings?

3. Where is the GDP growth that Arroyo brandishes? How come there is more hunger today and how come 53% of Filipinos rate themselves as poor?

4. Of the real developments in the country, what is attributable to Arroyo and what are in reality accomplishments of excellent local government executives, governors and mayors? Mayors Sonny Belmonte, Nene Aguilar and Marides Fernando registered exemplary performances not because of Arroyo but despite Arroyo.

GMA likes to posture during this campaign that she is concentrating on attracting foreign investors. How many serious foreign investors will want to setup shop in THE MOST CORRUPT COUNTRY IN ASIA? Who will want to even visit THE MOST DANGEROUS PLACE FOR JOURNALISTS AND POLITICAL ACTIVISTS IN A NON-WAR ZONE?

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